England all rounder Chris Woakes, who provided big breakthroughs to England with the ball yesterday, said after the end of the first day’s play that England need to bat positively to secure the 4th innings target.
Woakes told Sky Sports, “It’s an exciting day four ahead, I suppose. It will be a challenge. We’ve got to come out and try and knock Pakistan over without them building any sort of partnership. That would be the ideal.To chase this total down, I think we’ve got to do it pretty positively. You can’t just bat out there for a long time and not expect to have one with your name on it. We don’t want them to get too much further ahead of us.”
“When you lose the toss on a surface like this, you’re always going to be a little bit up against it, especially if there is a first-innings deficit. But, at the same time, we’ve given ourselves a chance.”
While speaking to the reporters later via video conference, Woakes said, “You always have belief, it would be stupid if we rock up thinking ‘if we lose three quick wickets we’re done.You hear a lot about records and chases but things like that are there to be broken. We’ll definitely look at those other wins, the sort of wins where you’re written off around this stage of the game.”
“We’ll draw on those experiences. Of course it’s a challenge but we’ve definitely got the ability to win, we’ve got the players who can do it.”
Despite nursing a quad injury, Ben Stokes came on later in the day and broke through twice for England, removing a well-set Mohammad Rizwan and then Shaheen Afridi. About his vice-captain’s efforts, Woakes said, “I had no idea whether he was able to bowl or ready to bowl, but I’m not overly surprised that he could do what he did. That’s Ben Stokes, we know he’s capable of miracles.”
“He’s got a bit of a golden arm, he always has had the knack of picking up wickets. When you are in a bit of dog fight, he’s the sort of player you want in your team. He always puts his hand up and gives 110 per cent and he certainly did that picking up a couple.”
Woakes said England were disappointed not to have gone closer to Pakistan’s first innings total of 326, being bundled out for 219.
“With the bat, we’d have liked to have gone on and got a bigger score but when you lose early wickets like we did, I suppose you’re always trying to find those partnerships to go on and get a big score,” he said. “Then with the ball, we were just trying to hammer a good length, straight really. With the wicket showing a little bit of variable bounce, trying to bring the stumps into play as much as possible and then also the fine nicks were the dismissals we were looking for. We wanted to try and build some pressure and we did that pretty well.”
“They’re certainly not completely out of the way and we feel that we can get them. I think we’ve got to come out and try and be positive as well. If you look to sit in on this wicket, particularly against the spin, there is probably one with your name on it. Obviously, we’ve still got two to get in the morning but I always feel that if you start well in a chase like that then you’ve got a chance.”
From the other camp, former Pakistan Cricketer Mushtaq Ahmed, who is currently serving as Pakistan’s spin bowling coach, said that Pakistan’s bowling attack can be lethal when they defend their 4th innings target against England.
He said, “If we can get another 20 to 30 runs that will be a very good score on that pitch, if we set a good target, (our bowlers) can be lethal out there.Yasir and Shadab have hardly played cricket for the last five or six months, but the way they bowled in the first innings I think they’ve got the momentum now.”
“They understand the pitch and what pace you need to bowl on it, what fields you need to have to different batsmen. I think they are feeling confident in their bowling now. We are very confident.”